Unlike the cool temperatures of Sydney's apparent never-ending Winter, Cologne, Germany has turned up the heat for this year's European version of E3: gamescom 2012. Wi-Fi permitting, I'll live update my thoughts on what's going on from the event, but for those keen to watch it all happen live, the junket is scheduled to kick off at midnight Wednesday (that's just under three hours, at the time of writing).
The embed code was initially below, but here are my notes to replace the live stream.
Army of Two: Devil's Cartel
- Visceral (developers of Dead Space) are now in charge of the Army of Two franchise, apparently.
- The game's using Frostbite 2 and has both macro- and micro-destructibility.
- Release date was listed as March 13, 2013, but that's probably US.
- Two new protagonists, and certain sections of the demo that seemed to include a third (although, no mention was made of this third player).
- One scene in the video featured a falling antenna that was very reminiscent of Caspian Border in Battlefield 3.
- Overkill mode seems to be the newest addition. It's earned by getting kills and makes the player seemingly temporarily invincible with extra bullet damage and unlimited ammunition.
- There was a live playthrough of an assault on a Cartel Stronghold. It wasn't that pretty for Frostbite 2 (although it certainly wasn't ugly), but there wasn't much new stuff on offer here.
- Highly cinematic moments, slow-mo breaches, generic dialogue and some questionable aiming from the demoers.
- A cool section where the players split up, with one taking on an overwatch role as a helicopter minigunner, and the other fighting on the ground.
- The minigun made short work of the waves of enemies, and there was plenty of rag-doll physics at play with dismemberment.
- Two EA bigwigs were making some deliberately dry announcements when they were interrupted by an ice-skating Dean Richards who shooed them off stage for some NHL 13 news.
- NHL is reportedly second only to FIFA in representing European teams.
- New GM Connected online feature that sounds super cool. Supports up to 750 players, 30 team dynasty, and you can take on roles from individual players to general managers.
- True Performance Skating Engine highlights four new features: explosiveness (speed bursts for closing space), top-end speed, momentum (the use of real-world physics) which includes realistic backwards/forwards transitioning, and creativity (there are over 1,000 new animations) for new movement possibilities.
- The demo will be available next week and it hits retail on the 15th of September.
Need for Speed Most Wanted
- Matt Webster, executive producer at Criterion Games, stepped on stage to talk about the new Need for Speed, which looks amazing (and that's coming from someone who doesn't like racing games).
- Apparently, it's received the most pre-awards for a Need for Speed game.
- The idea is to shake up the series, with features such as the ability to drive almost any car that you find in the game world, and from the outset.
- Race, chase and explore to upgrade your cars.
- There are neat social features such as the ability to smash through billboards that have the face of your friend who holds the current record for that area.
- Cloudcompete is a new feature that lets you set new times across platforms between console/PC and mobile versions of the game.
- Hamish Young, producer on the game, stepped on stage to handle the demo, which started off in an Aston Marton 12 Vantage.
- Switching to a discovered vehicle is as simple as pushing a button, and the transition is automatic.
- There was plenty of dubstep playing throughout the demo.
- At the end of a a race discovered in the open world, results are displayed for a moment, and then it's back to the game world where, in this instance, cops were in hot pursuit.
- Most Wanted is out on the 1st of November.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter
- 15 million people have bought Battlefield 3. That's no small number. Why is this important? It leads into...
- Battlelog is apparently going to be used for Medal of Honor.
- There will be a web-based metagame featuring 193 "united nations" (almost every nation in the world), where players can compete for their nation of choice.
- There was a subtle CoD burn during the presentation, and then a quote during the multiplayer trailer that was a blatant CoD burn. It looks like this year's EA vs Activision showdown will be no different than last year's.
- Jordon Epstein stepped on stage to talk SimCity.
- The Glassbox engine lets the city mechanics emerge from the city. Hopefully, we'll find out exactly what that means when we have some hands-on/interview time.
- Each city is interconnected on a macro level - whether this applies to online as well as offline is yet to be clarified.
- There will be a hands-on demo available at gamescom, so keep an eye out for our thoughts.
- SimCity is slated for release in February 2013.
- SimCity is coming to Mac, too (via Origin).